Tissue Microdissection

  • Anja RabienEmail author
  • Glen Kristiansen
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1381)


The new opportunities of modern assays of molecular biology can only be exploited fully if the results can be accurately correlated to the tissue phenotype under investigation. This is a general problem of non-in situ techniques, whereas results from in situ techniques are often difficult to quantify. The use of bulk tissue, which is not precisely characterized in terms of histology, has long been the basis for molecular analysis. It has, however, become apparent, that this simple approach is not sufficient for a detailed analysis of molecular alterations, which might be restricted to a specific tissue phenotype (e.g., tumor or normal tissue, stromal or epithelial cells). Microdissection is a method to provide minute amounts of histologically characterized tissues for molecular analysis with non-in situ techniques and has become an indispensable research tool. If tissue diversity is moderate and negligible, manual microdissection can be an easy and cost-efficient method of choice. In contrast, the advantage of laser microdissection is a very exact selection down to the level of a single cell, but often with a considerable time exposure to get enough material for the following analyses. The latter issue and the method of tissue preparation needed for laser microdissection are the main problems to solve if RNA, highly sensitive to degradation, shall be analyzed. This chapter focuses on optimized procedures for manual microdissection and laser microdissection to analyze RNA of malignant and nonmalignant prostate tissue.

Key words

Manualmicrodissection Lasermicrodissection RNA Degradation Cryosection Prostate tissue Cresyl violet 



G.K. is grateful to Britta Beyer and Eva Polzin+ for sectioning and performing the manual microdissection in his lab. G.K. also thanks Christoph Weber for excellent photography and Alfred E. Neumann for fruitful discussions. A.R. is very grateful to Cornelia Stelzer and Sabine Becker for technical assistance and photography for the laser microdissection part.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Division, Department of UrologyCharité—Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Universitätsklinikum Bonn (AöR), Institut für PathologieBonnGermany

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